Superstition Mountain courses to be auctioned - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Superstition Mountain courses to be auctioned

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Posted: Friday, February 13, 2009 12:33 pm | Updated: 12:32 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The financially troubled Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club in Gold Canyon will be auctioned to the highest bidder in a foreclosure sale to be held March 19 at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse in Florence.

The sale is being initiated by John Deere Credit, an affiliate of the famous tractor manufacturer, which is the senior lender on the project, management officials said.

The weakened economic environment in Arizona has caused the owner of the property, Superstition Mountain LLC, to lose control to the lender, and “John Deere Credit is exercising its legal rights to conduct the sale,” said Keith Bierman, senior managing director of MCA Financial Group in Phoenix and court-appointed receiver for the property.

John Deere Credit has provided financing for the country club for about 10 years, he said.

The golf course is located in a spectacular site near the foot of the Superstition Mountains and hosted the Ladies Professional Golf Association Safeway International tournament for five years. However, because of the club’s financial difficulties, it will not be able to host the tournament this year, and the LPGA is moving the event to the newly renovated Papago Park Golf Course in Phoenix.

The property to be sold consists of the clubhouse and two courses, said Steven Marotta, chief executive of Oasis Management, manager of the residential properties around the golf course.

Bierman declined to comment on the number of bids expected, but he said “it’s a high-profile property. There is a definite interest.”

Once the bids are submitted, John Deere Credit could accept the highest bid or could bid on the property itself and become the owner, Bierman said.

John Deere Credit could bid up to the amount it is owed on the property, which is more than $26 million, he said.

“They will have to determine what the other bids look like, and they will have to make the business decision to own or be paid by the highest bidder,” he said.

Pending the sale, the country club is being operated by Scottsdale-based OB Sports, a company hired by MCA Financial Group to manage the day-to-day activities of the golf club.

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